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Basic Instinct (1992)

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A violent, suspended police detective investigates a brutal murder, in which a manipulative and seductive woman could be involved.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gus
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Lieutenant Nilsen (as Daniel Von Bargen)
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Dr. Lamott
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Bill Cable ...
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Storyline

A former rock star, Johnny Boz, is brutally killed during sex, and the case is assigned to detective Nick Curran of the SFPD. During the investigation, Nick meets Catherine Tramell, a crime novelist who was Boz's girlfriend when he died. Catherine proves to be a very clever and manipulative woman, and though Nick is more or less convinced that she murdered Boz, he is unable to find any evidence. Later, when Nilsen, Nick's rival in the police, is killed, Nick suspects of Catherine's involvement in it. He then starts to play a dangerous lust-filled mind game with Catherine to nail her, but as their relationship progresses, the body count rises and contradicting evidences force Nick to start questioning his own suspicions about Catherine's guilt. Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Flesh seduces. Passion kills. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sensuality, and for drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Hurts  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$49,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$117,727,224 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

| (France)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Joe Eszterhas and producer Irwin Winkler walked off the picture after failing to reach agreement with director Paul Verhoeven over the script. Verhoeven promptly hired Total Recall (1990) writer Gary Goldman to come up with some new scenes, most of which beefed up Michael Douglas's character and made him less wimpy. These changes were largely made at the behest of Douglas. It was during this later stage that Verhoeven realized his changes weren't going to work, so he publicly acknowledged his error and made up with Eszterhas (which Eszterhas admitted to be a rare thing in Hollywood). Problems reoccurred later when the script had been leaked, and the gay and lesbian communities had serious reservations about the depiction of lesbian and bisexual characters. Eszterhas wanted to make more changes to appease them, but Verhoeven point blank refused to incorporate these changes. Eszterhas again publicly distanced himself from the production, but once again reconciled with Verhoeven when the finished movie was praised by critics and homosexual communities alike. See more »

Goofs

Beth Garner's first name is spelled "Elisabeth" on the entrance door to her office. However, when Nick looks up her driving license records, the name is spelled "Elizabeth". See more »

Quotes

Nick: You wanna play hard, come on!
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Soundtracks

Rave The Rhythm
Performed by Channel X
Written by Nikkie van Lierop (as Van Lierop), Praga Khan (as Khan) and Olivier Adams (as Adams)
Courtesy of Beat Box / Antler-Subway Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger.
31 January 2002 | by (Hamilton, Australia) – See all my reviews

The 90's was a decade that was blessed with many great movies, yet there are none greater than that of Basic Instinct. It is a truly great film. With Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone heading a wonderful cast, this was one of the great thriller movies I can remember watching. It had everything a movie could want, a bit of mystery, sex, intrigue and murder. There will need to be a pretty good movie to replace this classic from the top as one of the greatest all-time thrillers.

Nick Curran is a disgraced San Francisco police detective who helps investigate the murder of a prominent city official. Curran has a history of alcoholism and drug abuse although he is clean now. Catherine Tramell, the chief suspect, a spoiled rich girl with a background in psychology is toying with Curran's mind. When Curran is taken off the case, he enters into a dangerous relationship with Tramell, which could have bad implications. Soon everyone Curran comes into contact with turns into a suspect.

Undoubtedly, this movie is most famous for it's high level sex scenes that it contains. While I did enjoy them, they are overrated just a fraction. I must admit Sharon Stone has an incredible body and she certainly knows all the moves. These scenes also turned Michael Douglas into a sex manic of sorts and partially ruined his first marriage to Diandra Luker. Yet they create quite a mood for this film and are the main reason why it was the success it was.

The cast was great in this too. Michael Douglas is a Hollywood legend and this film only made him even more popular. His role as a the down and out cop was great. Douglas has some great films to his credit. These include Romancing the Stone, Fatal Attraction (not to similar to Basic Instinct), A Perfect Murder, and of recent Traffic (alongside his second wife Catherine Zeta Jones) and Don't say a word. Then what do you say about Sharon Stone? Before this film she was virtually an unknown, then she stormed on to our screens, without letting audiences take a breathe. Her film credits include The quick and the dead, Total Recall and The Specialist.

Other cast members include Jeanne Tripplehorn, who played Curran's ex-wife and Psychologist Dr Elizabeth Garner. Her role made me feel very anxious to realise what was going to happen. The sex scene involving her was a little hard to take. Then you have the good guy of the film, Gus, played by George Dzundza, but the way we see him go is also too much to handle. One other actress I did recognise, was Leilani Saralle, who played one of Catherine Tramell's gay lover's, Roxy.

Basic Instinct had a very good director, that being Paul Verhoven. He made this film extremely well and any other director might have got it wrong. He has made some other good films including Robo Cop, Starship Troopers and Total Recall. He did do one big flop, that being Showgirls. He commented on that film by saying `I think it was bad too'. I am sorry Paul, but you were right. Basic Intinct's script was pretty good in how it left you dangling. It was like you were in a big game of cat and mouse. I can understand that some people might not like it for that reason, but I thought it was good. The movie also had a great musical score attached to it, giving the movie a chilling feel to it.

So, all in all Basic Instinct is a film that I will always remember. It was so controversial that where I come from, I remember people needed to show there ID to get into the local cinemas, because of its sexual and violent content. I don't blame the cinemas for doing so, because it is not suitable for young eyes to see. If you want to watch a great thriller, then sit down and watch Basic Instinct. Trust me its ‘nice'!

Rating: 5 stars or 10/10


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